Seabees in Afghanistan Awarded Purple Heart

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael

120831-N-UH337-016 (August 31, 2012) Steelworker 3rd Class Grant J. Cullumber, left, from Chandler, Ariz., and Equipment Operator 1st Class Robert W. Dorch, from Pensacola, Fla., both assigned to Naval Mobile Consruction Battalion (NMCB) 11, stand at attention after each being awarded a purple heart by Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, Commander of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (forward) for wounds received in action while depoyed to Afghanistan. NMCB 11 is homeported in Gulfport, Miss. and currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael / Released)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Two Sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 were each awarded a Purple Heart today (August 31, 2012) on Camp Leatherneck for wounds received in action while deployed to Afghanistan under U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

Equipment Operator 1st Class Robert W. Dorch and Steelworker 3rd Class Grant J. Cullumber were presented the Purple Heart by Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, Commanding General for Regional Command Southwest, in a ceremony on Camp Krutke, the Seabee camp located on Camp Leatherneck.

Dorch, originally from Pensacola, Fla., was wounded on August 9, 2012 when the bulldozer he was operating absorbed the explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) while NMCB 11 was supporting a village stability platform in southern Afghanistan.

“Thank God for armored plating!” exclaimed Dorch.  “I feel very fortunate to be here.”                                

A Chandler, Ariz. native, Cullumber was wounded on June 1, 2012 when a vehicle born IED exploded just outside a building he was working in. 

“I don’t remember most of what happened,” said Cullumber.  I only remember bits and pieces, and I’ve been told about it by people who were there.  I am just happy to be here continuing to do my job alongside my shipmates.”

Homeported in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is deployed to Afghanistan to conduct general, mobility, survivability engineering operations, defensive operations, Afghan National Army partnering and detachment of units in combined/joint operations area – Afghanistan in order to enable the neutralization of the insurgency and support improved governance and stability operations.